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Cold Fire, 1991

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Forum Name: Dean Koontz book reviews
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URL: http://www.neo-forum.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3148
Printed Date: October/01/2020 at 1:08pm


Topic: Cold Fire, 1991
Posted By: MGDraft
Subject: Cold Fire, 1991
Date Posted: April/07/2004 at 10:41am

any english class i've taken has told me to anylaize the names of characters, because the author choose them for a reason, usually a symbolic reason. i have also been annoyed when the symbolizism between the name and the content is made painfully obvious. names like "John Everyman" tend to keep me from getting into a story. instead of becoming involved in a story, where i feel as if im in the middle of the action, its like a constant nagging reminder that the whole story is fake and i cant imagine any further than the words on a page. However, Dean Koontz must realize this as well, because when one of his characters has an obvious name, he gives a back story, and has other characters make observations about the name, thereby making it sound more like a coinceidence than a purposeful choice. changing what could be a possible failure into a masterpiece. Cold Fire does not dissappoint. the main charactes names are Jim Ironheart and Holly Thorne. 'Ironheart' came from a german backround(which is explained in more detail than what i write). Holly's parents thought it would be funny to name her Holly. but enough about that, on to the story itself.


Jim Ironheart is a hero without knowing why. some unseen force sends him bits and pieces of the future and compells Jim to go all over the country, and sometimes overseas, saving lives of people hes never met. Holly is a reporter, exauahsted of her profession, who literally bumps into Jim on one of his missions. together they seek the meaning behind his visions and find themselves at the old windmill at his grandparents' farm. it is there that mystery turns into wonder and terror of un-earthly proportions.


overall i really enjoyed this book. it is espicially interesting to watch Jim's character progress from being a hero, to a loner, to a scared little boy, and back around. i thouroghly recommend this novel to fans and newbies alike.






Quote edited by moderator

short synopsis:

Jim Ironheart risked his life to save a child. Reporter Holly Thorne decides there is a story here, and soon discovers that Jim has quietly performed 12 last-minute rescues. Jim believes God is working through him, but Holly is more cynical and delves further, placing both their lives in danger.



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"How's your mother?"
"She's on her way out."
"We all are, act accordingly."
--The Departed--



Replies:
Posted By: Megs
Date Posted: May/26/2004 at 10:46am

I agree! This book was super! I was definatly not expecting it to end the way that it did. How weird was that. I never would have thought that it was him all along. It blew me away! I was left wondering what happened to Jim and Holly. It was a great book. I give it 4 stars!



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***The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they are okay, then it's you!***


Posted By: christophersnow
Date Posted: July/01/2004 at 7:03pm

It was a great book for many reasons, one being the great cast of characters, the other being the most surprising book I've ever read from Koontz. There was a surprise it seemed on every page of the book. Surprise after surprise made it hard to put down and maybe one of my top 5 books of all time for Koontz, if it can beat By the Light of the Moon.



Posted By: Junior82
Date Posted: February/11/2005 at 10:17pm
This is yet another Koontz novel that really makes you think about human nature. Every scene is beautifuly written and very suspenseful. The ending is one of the least expected of anything I've read. He makes you think one thing then another but never whats truelly going on. Would make a great movie. To reply with what MGDraft(great nic) said about names I can't help but say my all time favorite name is Deliverance Payne from Tick Tock which is also an awesome read.


Posted By: bandej0
Date Posted: February/24/2005 at 1:04pm
Throughout the whole book I wanted to be Jim Ironhart. The ending totally blew me away. Suspense is great in this one, and as always the storyline is a little off the wall, yet he somehow makes it very believable. How does he do it.

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"There is a fine line between genius and insanity." - Einstein
Top 5 Koontz:
1: Lightning
2: One Door Away from Heaven
3: From the Corner of His Eye
4: False Memory
5: Strangers


Posted By: dusty151617
Date Posted: November/19/2005 at 6:03pm
I read this book in a bad part of my life so that's proabably why I don't rememeber liking it too well. It wasn't really a bad part of my life but I had just moved and wasn't liking my new school at all. I need to give it another chance.

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"This here, now--this is just an intermission between act one and act two." - Odd Thomas


Posted By: jen the oddfrog
Date Posted: November/20/2005 at 7:04am
Will I ever be able to get thru all my unread Koontz books...ooo..scratch that... I should be be careful what I wish for...someday I will read Cold Fire...it got mixed reviews when I first started posting here and I picked up Intensity instead I think....it's all becoming a blurr to me now...

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Life can be as bitter as dragon tears. But whether dragon tears are bitter or sweet depends entirely on how each man perceives the taste.


Posted By: GeneB
Date Posted: November/20/2005 at 10:22pm
Seems like you live life in a blurr Jen. Need to slow dawn and smell the Starbucks.

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Ask me about DEAN KOONTZ Forum T-shirts. Cool.



Posted By: jen the oddfrog
Date Posted: November/21/2005 at 5:21am
I dont have a slow down mode...too much to do...Starbucks ...had a Mocha Frappachino yesterday it was GOOOOOD!!

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Life can be as bitter as dragon tears. But whether dragon tears are bitter or sweet depends entirely on how each man perceives the taste.


Posted By: dusty151617
Date Posted: November/21/2005 at 8:30am
Hey people, don't let me hear the word Starbucks.

Well, see you later. I'm off to Starbucks.

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"This here, now--this is just an intermission between act one and act two." - Odd Thomas


Posted By: bandej0
Date Posted: November/22/2005 at 9:38am
Well, Dusty, I think you really need to give it another chance, I re-read it and liked it even more.
As for Starbucks, I don't like that gut-rot you people call coffee so the only thing I've ever had there that I liked was about the same as a vanilla shake I could get at McD's for half the price, sorry.

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"There is a fine line between genius and insanity." - Einstein
Top 5 Koontz:
1: Lightning
2: One Door Away from Heaven
3: From the Corner of His Eye
4: False Memory
5: Strangers


Posted By: Gchild
Date Posted: May/19/2006 at 8:44pm
I just finished Cold Fire a couple of days ago and to be honest I didnt enjoy it as much as I do most DK books. I really didnt like Holly Thorne. I cant really explain it, she just irritated me. The book just didnt make a whole lot of sense and left, at least for me, alot of unanswered questions. For example, it never explained how and why Jim Ironheart ended up with the power to make the walls come alive and all the other things that he did. It just said he was born special. I would give the book 2 of 5 stars.

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Top 10:
1.Odd Thomas 2.Life Expectancy 3.Dark Rivers of the Heart 4.From the Corner of His Eye 5.Watchers 6.The Face 7.Forever Odd 8.Night Chills 9.Intensity 10.Velocity


Posted By: Clover
Date Posted: July/22/2006 at 10:58pm
Oh, yes. I really enjoyed this book as well, his "Savings" were astonishing.. His peircing blue eyes, Holly was great as well. I liked how he saved people that needed help and the airplane scene was cool as well.

Meg


Posted By: joetaptaco
Date Posted: June/29/2007 at 10:05pm
This was the first Koontz book I read. I remember being a teenager who lived for the likes of Poe and Lovecraft and didn't really give contemporary authors the time of day, and was encouraged to read DK by a friend. Cold Fire was the only book of his in the family library, and I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. I even stole it when I moved out and got married. I got my wife to read it and she almost finished. She got too creeped out by the windmill part. She said it gave her nightmares. That's when I realized the DK was the real deal and have been addicted since.

And my wife still refuses to give him another chance.

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I too have my father's eyes


Posted By: kauldron26
Date Posted: September/15/2007 at 9:15am
i really really loved cold fire. probably the best Koontz book ive read since FTCOHE. More than anything Jim and Holly will be a couple that i will never ever forget.

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Favorite Koontz: FTCOHE

Reading all works by:
James Clavell and James Michener

http://www.librarything.com/catalog/kauldron26 - Check out My Library


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: September/15/2007 at 9:51am
Well, while we are polar opposites on our feelings about FTCOHE, we are right in sync with Cold Fire, which is probably my favorite Koontz novel. I think it is exceptionally plotted and executed.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: sumfamousperson
Date Posted: October/01/2007 at 5:15pm
>>Spoilers whited out<<

Just finished it, and my love of Koontz has only grown. The first half of the book, I was like, "Yea, ok, this is alright, I guess..." But when stuff was explained at the ending like how he had the whole
split personality thing, the way Koontz explains it just made total sense!

One thing I don't quite get though, what did the 'signs' of jesus that the preist said he saw have to do with anything?


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: October/01/2007 at 9:35pm
Hmm, it has been so long since I've read this book, I don't think I can answer your question there, sorry.

I do agree that the explanation was amazing, but he was treading a thin line. In the hands of a lesser author, it could have seemed silly and actually rather laughable and ruined the whole book. Koontz managed to make it plausible and engrossing.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: masha99
Date Posted: October/02/2007 at 7:06am
That's what makes him a great writer, but also very hard to explain to others who haven't read him before. If people ask you what a particular book is about, it's hard not to make it sound silly.

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Maybe all you've got is what you get to... -- Brad Cotter
Pity for the guilty is treason to the innocent -- Ayn Rand/Terry Goodkind


Posted By: christophersnow
Date Posted: October/02/2007 at 7:59am
sumfamousperson, to answer your question:

Cold Fire spoilers...

Jim thought he was a 'tool' of God, therefore the subconscious mind made the stigmata appear.

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"It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing." - Howard Roark
Dean Koontz= Always working!


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: October/02/2007 at 8:45am
Originally posted by masha99 masha99 wrote:

That's what makes him a great writer, but also very hard to explain to others who haven't read him before. If people ask you what a particular book is about, it's hard not to make it sound silly.


EXACTLY! I feel that way about my love of Buffy too, when I try to explain certain story arcs or episodes, it sounds ridiculous, but Joss always made it work. Same with Koontz, it sounds like a ridiculous plot twist if you just hear it, but it really works.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: sumfamousperson
Date Posted: October/02/2007 at 12:27pm
Originally posted by christophersnow christophersnow wrote:

sumfamousperson, to answer your question:

Cold Fire spoilers...

Jim thought he was a 'tool' of God, therefore the subconscious mind made the stigmata appear.


Ohh... That makes total sense!

Thanks!


Posted By: christophersnow
Date Posted: October/02/2007 at 1:41pm
Good, because I wasn't really sure that's what you were asking.

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"It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing." - Howard Roark
Dean Koontz= Always working!


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: December/26/2007 at 8:52pm
I feel like I should be more of a champion for this book. It's my all time favorite Koontz, and it seems well thought of but rarely ever pops up in a conversation of his best.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: withpatience200
Date Posted: May/20/2008 at 12:24pm
OK guys I finally read this book, I thought I would never make it through the "plane ride". I almost chucked the book at my kids a couple of times b/c they wouldn't let me just sit and get through it. But then it slowed a little bit too much for a min. I did not get at all the time between the departure from the airport to the time she shows up on Bougainvillea way.
But it got better and I took great pleasure in finishing it.

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With luck my patience will never run out before I do


Posted By: bubcar
Date Posted: June/28/2008 at 4:34am
Just finished this book, I thought it was just okay until pretty close to the end. What really got me was when they went to the windmill, I feel like things really picked up for me and when I found out that he had a split personality and that he was actually lying to Holly in order to keep his secrets the pages really started flying by.

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"The choice is Yours"--Velocity


Posted By: Trailmix
Date Posted: June/28/2008 at 7:07am
Cold Fire has one of Koontz's best plot twists ever, imo. It caught me completely off guard.

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~Top Ten Koontz: From The Corner Of His Eye, Watchers, The Bad Place, Strangers, Lightning, Relentless, The Face, Dark Rivers Of The Heart, Intensity, and Cold Fire~


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: June/28/2008 at 7:23am
I think it's one of Koontz's real masterpieces, his best.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: Trailmix
Date Posted: June/28/2008 at 8:25am
I would have to agree. Definitely top ten or top five material. Kind of underrated as well, I think.

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~Top Ten Koontz: From The Corner Of His Eye, Watchers, The Bad Place, Strangers, Lightning, Relentless, The Face, Dark Rivers Of The Heart, Intensity, and Cold Fire~


Posted By: bubcar
Date Posted: June/28/2008 at 10:21am
I've not heard much if anything about it on the forum and it was pretty much the only thing in my house that I hadn't read so I picked it up and was pleasantly surprised.

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"The choice is Yours"--Velocity


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: June/29/2008 at 2:46am
Yeah, it doesn't get a lot of love on here, which I think is a shame. I can't be more vocal about this book. Koontz took a risk with this plot twist--one of the reason no movie has ever been made as filmmakers always want to change the ending--that could have been silly and ridiculous and laughable and instead made it wonderful and totally sold it.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: bubcar
Date Posted: June/30/2008 at 8:44am
Yeah, I read that in the afterword where they wanted to completely change the ending and make it completely ridiculous. I'm really glad he stuck with his original plan.

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"The choice is Yours"--Velocity


Posted By: Normal Tom
Date Posted: October/18/2008 at 1:02am
I loved it! absolutely loved it. Although in the end it took a different path to the one that I'd developed in my mind from about midway into the book, the unexpected twist was more than welcome, because its the punches you don't see coming that rock you! excuse the pugilistic saying. The main protagonists in cold fire; Jim Ironheart and Holly Thorne were totally believable and real, they didn't give out that overwhelming 'hero' vibe that these sorts of characters usually do. They were your original, self effacing and self doubting people. But the standout scene or part in this book that made it for me was the...****spoiler****spoiler****spoiler****





Mojave desert rescue scene...I could literally feel the sweltering mind numbing heat that that desolate stretch of highway would've been like, the blinding brightness of the searing sun...all the while blasting the crap outta some pedophilic psychos in the middle of a desert.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: October/18/2008 at 3:50am
With this book, I feel Koontz took a twist that could have been cheesy and laughably and made it into something truly extraordinary.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: Lasher
Date Posted: October/23/2008 at 12:55pm
FinalExam I have to thank you for praising this book so much.
It made me bump this one up in my must read Koontz list.
All I can say is WOW! I absolutely loved the book. Just when I thought I had it figured out things changed.
Plus I absolutely couldn't stand Holly at first and ended up loving her in the end. It takes a great author to make you feel so many emotions about the characters. Koontz had me really connected to them.
I hope there's more Ironheart books to come. It ended in a way that it could be possible. Unless there's another I don't know about.LOL I can't keep up with them all.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: October/23/2008 at 2:27pm
I'm glad my praise of the book got you to read it. I really do think it's one of Koontz's masterpieces. Koontz never wrote anymore about Ironheart, but this one really was amazing.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: ChrisCarrion
Date Posted: July/17/2009 at 7:22am
Just finished this book,it started off at a hundred miles per hour and ended up at walking pace.A bit disapointing.I hope Your Heart Belongs to me,which i'm just starting,is a bit better.

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Your Only Young Once But Immature Forever.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: July/17/2009 at 11:33am
Cold Fire disappointing?????????? I think I'm going to pass out.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: dnurse64
Date Posted: February/11/2010 at 1:58pm
Me too FE. What's wrong with you people!? This thread is so bare. I think it took 3 minutes to read all the posts. This is one of DK's most fantastic books too.

Here's a link to the afterword. DK put spoiler warnings where they began in the middle of the afterword. I'm posting it because it's funny and discusses something about the ending that movie produces wanted change in order to make it into a movie.

http://www.deankoontz.com/books/cold-fire/from-the-author - Cold Fire Afterword


*********************SPOILERS*********************



This was a page turner. I was excited the whole time and didn't want to put it down. It's a very unique book. Holly Thorn is now my favorite Koontz female. I found her refreshing and funny and real. I enjoyed her curious investigative reporter personality. Whoever thinks Koontz just writes about disfunctional females needs to read this book as an example of why that's not true. This lady is strong and well adjusted and comes from a loving family. She's the moving force behind Jim Ironheart the hero.

Jim is the strangest Koontz leading male character I've met yet. But I mean that in a good way. You know something is off about him, but you can't put your finger on it. Koontz did a great job at revealing bits and pieces behind the mystery throughout the entire story. Each section keeps up the intrigue. He takes you from biblical spiritual possibilities, to sci-fi alternatives, then wham, the real answer hits you by surprise. What a great idea! A traumatized young boy with "special" abilities that develops multiple personalities one named The Friend and the other The Enemy and he can project them and make them real entities! The part that makes up Jim's "normal" personality is afflicted with mysterious and random memory loss. His background is slowly revealed in such an interesting manner.

This book also has Koontz's best love scene!

And who can't relate in a small way to the power of books to get you through times of suffering? I can. Wonderful works of fiction have helped me through tough times. Granted, Jim Ironheart takes it to a disfunctional level of escapism, but it rings so true. I loved both of these characters.

The ending was uplifting and in the spirit of By the Light of the Moon. It left me with joyful anticipation for Jim and Holly's exciting future together. It was a beautiful message of the power of love and support.

Regarding the afterword. Can you believe the movie producers wanted to change the ending to "What if the pond really had aliens?" Don't get me wrong, I love sci-fi alien stories but there is plenty of that out there already. That would have changed the entire point of the story. I'm glad Dean refused that offer.

You're right FE, this is one of Koontz's best.

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I'm inclined to believe in parallel worlds filled with dark bound Snow and Odd adventures.



Posted By: SlimMackenzie
Date Posted: February/12/2010 at 3:46am
I thought it funny that he was hoping YHBTM would be better than COLDFIRE. He probably hasn't read another DK since YHBTM.

Sorry D, I know you enjoyed it.

As far as COLDFIRE goes, I really think it is some of his best writing. Fast paced, great characters, and an ending that was staring us all in the face, except we didn't see it. I remember smiling when I put that book back up on the shelf. I miss the old DK.

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The other night I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.
-Rodney Dangerfield


Posted By: dnurse64
Date Posted: February/12/2010 at 6:13am
Originally posted by SlimMackenzie SlimMackenzie wrote:


Sorry D, I know you enjoyed it.

I didn't just enjoy it, I was hypnotized by it! Gosh I loved that one. LOL though about your comment, another member's girlfriend read that for her first DK read and she said she would never read him again! He's asking members for "damage control" and everyone is giving suggestions.

Like FE said, everybody can read the same line, exact words, and feel differently about them. That's not an exact quote.

New Age Koontzian here loving all the books.



Spoilers, Cold Fire:


Oh, I thought Jim Ironheart was an alien toward the middle. You know, Starman or something. I want to go back and read all the parts again about him that were "staring us in the face" like you said.

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I'm inclined to believe in parallel worlds filled with dark bound Snow and Odd adventures.



Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: February/13/2010 at 1:02pm
Cold Fire was not my first Koontz, but it was the one that really made me go "Whoa, this man has MAJOR talent!" That ending punched me in the gut, could have been silly but he totally sold it. So original and exciting.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: TheFirTree
Date Posted: February/13/2010 at 1:18pm
.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: February/13/2010 at 1:45pm
I hate the Bobby Ewing dream thing too, but I just thought the Cold Fire ending was very clever and thrilling.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz


Posted By: TheFirTree
Date Posted: February/13/2010 at 1:51pm
.


Posted By: FinalExam
Date Posted: February/13/2010 at 2:10pm
Nothing worse than seeing the ending of a novel telegraphed from page one.

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We are not strangers to ourselves, we only try to be. --Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz



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